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Superhero season

Will the Indian superhero finally emerge this summer? Unveiling Krrish

india Updated: May 06, 2006 17:55 IST
Hiren Kotwani/ HT Style
Hiren Kotwani/ HT Style

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it Superman? Well, it’s pretty close.

Actually, it’s our own superhero, which might prove to be a welcome change from western superheroes like Superman, Spiderman, Batman, or even Shaktimaan who we’ve grown up with.

This summer not one, but two Indian superheroes and one legendary international superhero will set screens ablaze — Hrithik Roshan in Krrish, relative newcomer Akshay Kapoor in Alag and Brandon Routh in Superman Returns. While Alag is scheduled to release May 19 and Superman Returns on June 30, the release date of Krrish isn’t yet finalised.

For about 35 years, our heroes have performed unbelievable feats like jumping from high-rises, fighting 50 people single-handedly and emerging unscathed and so on. Considering they are beyond normal men, our stars are more like superheroes. So what sets an Indian superhero apart from an Indian superstar?

Ashu Trikha director of Alag, which explores the superpowers concept, explains, “A superhero does things bigger and better than a normal human being. Even WWF guys are known to do things normal men cannot. In entertainment, we’re just trying to push the envelope.”

Krrish, the character, is poised to do things bigger and better.

According to Rakesh Roshan, director of


, “Our actors are seen doing heroic acts. But the execution is not good enough to take the stunt to that level of conviction. What makes superheroes is the execution to make their feats look convincing and believable. And that’s why when you see


running faster, climbing trees and mountains faster than anyone else, cross a river in just one leap, you’ll believe it. And he has sharply accurate intuition too.” As opposed to


Kapoor’s “Tejas Rastogi in Alag is electric by nature. He can attract and repel metals. When he’s around, electronic items stop working and he emits some frequency too,” says Trikha.

Like most superheroes, Krrish and Tejas are all for doing good. We’ve heard that there’s a scene in


where Hrithik saves the circus audience from near-calamity. Krrish enters in his superhero


which includes a special mask. On the other hand, “Tejas also understands others people’s pain, be they human or birds or animals while a normal human being can only understand the feelings of his near and dear ones, leave alone caring about strangers, birds or animals,” says Trikha.

Question the two directors if these films will finally give us an indigenous superhero and the replies are contrasting. Roshan feels, “In Hollywood, Superman was a $300-million film, while we make films in about $10 million. So it’s difficult to justify such a question. Personally, I’ve done all I could do, maintaining international standards.” On the contrary, Trikha says, “The doors have been opened earlier. We had Shaktimaan on television.” Not to forget the fact that for us, our superheroes are our various mythological characters, like Rama, Krishna and Hanuman to name a few, if their miraculous and magical feats are any indication.

While Batman, Spiderman and Superman have spawned sequels and merchandising opportunities in the west, what potential is there for Tejas and Krrish to follow the same route? “That’s can be said only after gauging the response to Krrish. We’ll have to wait for the box-office verdict. We do have plans for merchandising, comic books and an animation film, but that’s at a later stage. Now, my focus is only on the film,” says Roshan. But Trikha feels, “There’s no limit to the number of superheroes we can have. Each can be different, just as Superman, Spiderman and Batman are different from each other.”

First Published: May 07, 2006 18:00 IST